Jun 242014

ID-100141843Painted capstan or windlass drum ends can create hazards, says a safety alert from the Marine Safety Forum. According to the auditor writing to MSF, the dangers are under-appreciated and says that such drums should not be prettied up with paintwork but many masters do not seethe danger.

Some time ago the writer was involved in investigating an incident where a seaman had damaged his wrist during a mooring operation. Part of the root cause was identified as resulting from the capstan drum end having been painted. The last eight ships audited by the writer all had painted capstan or windlass drum ends and two masters argued that there is nothing wrong with painting them.

The problem associated with this practice is that the paint itself is the hazard. Continue reading »

Apr 182014

greaseGreasing palms is not unknown in the maritime industry but greasing a little finger is somewhat rarer. Although this warning from Marine Safety Forum, MSF concerns a non-maritime incident there may still be the potential for it.

The operator was using a handheld grease gun to lubricate various grease points on earth-moving plant when he felt a sharp prick to his right little finger and on inspection noticed a small hole. On squeezing the finger about a teaspoon of grease was ejected.

He had not been wearing gloves.

Medical attention was sought resulting in a lengthy operation and removal of a vein in the forearm. This was replaced with an artificial vein.

MSF says: “At this time the operation appears successful however constant medical monitoring and surgery care is paramount to a successful rehabilitation.” Continue reading »

Buoy Too Close To Fibre Line Led To Wandering MODU

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Jul 162012

Mooring line No. 5 after the accident

Marine Safety Forum warns that a MODU was moored with eight mooring lines and connected to the well. A loud noise was heard originating from aft, port side column and it was observed on the tension monitoring that the mooring line no. 5 lost its initial tension of 145mT down to 45mT.

The MODU got an excursion of 12 meters from initial position and the MODU tilted 2,3 degrees. Angle on lower flex joint was less than 2 degrees. Ballasting system was run to stabilize the MODU and the thrusters operated in manual mode to re-locate the MODU back to its initial position prior to the mooring line failure.

It was identified some time thereafter that the fiber rope insert in mooring line no. 5 had failed. The triggering cause was that the subsurface buoy shackle/chain came into contact with the fibre rope insert and lead to loss of integrity of the fiber rope insert.

Critical Factors (CF) that lead to the incident:
CF1: Subsurface buoy shackle and chain fastened too close to the fiber line
CF2: Rotational movement of the mooring line lead to the subsurface buoy arrangement getting tangled up into the fiber line (Fig 2)


1. Install subsurface buoy to the bottom chain segment by “snotter” shackle in a safe distance to avoid the subsurface buoy to reach the fiber line segment connection point

2. Install high tension swivels in both ends of the fiber line insert

3. Evaluate use of swivels during test tension to avoid twist in pre-installed anchor lines

4. Assess the use of ROV survey when the MODU has achieved work tension in the mooring lines

5. All parties involved in the rig move process, is recommended to make themself familiar with industry learning related to mooring line failures and by doing so, bring learning forward in risk assessments and point-out potential weaknesses in rig move documentation issued for review

Rig Specific Corrective Action Plans to be developed, tracked and closed.

Download Safety Alert

Hand Injury during Buoy Recover

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Aug 282011

From Marine Safety Forum:

During a routine buoy recovery at the weekend a crew member received a cut to his hand.

As this was a free floating fishing buoy, it had been decided to check the status of the buoy as it may have caused a hazard to the installation and the Diving Support Vessel working in the vicinity. Furthermore the vessel may have had divers underwater at the time.

Continue reading »

Dropped Object Gave No Relief

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Aug 272011

Marine Safety Forum has issued the following alert:

When landing a chemical tank onto the supply vessel a Pressure Relief valve located adjacent to the tank’s main lid fell from the tank onto the deck of the vessel. This dropped object would have caused considerable injury or fatality had it fell while lifting to / from vessel / location. The tank was quarantined and the client notified.

Initial and further investigation revealed that the valve must have been subject to unauthorised removal and replacement, during which it had been cross-threaded thereby weakening the connection sufficiently to allow it to loosen and fall. The valve is only meant to be removed during periodic inspection by a qualified inspector. The investigation also revealed that it was difficult if not impossible for the quayside gantry to have spotted the fault.
Continue reading »

Warning On Total CO2 Extinguishers

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Jul 192011

Marine Safety Forum has issued an alert regarding faulty  2kg and 5kg aluminium CO2 fire extinguishers manufactured between 2006 and April 2011.

TOTAL, a manufacturer of portable CO2 fire extinguishers has contacted Lloyds Register to advise that faulty extinguishers have been identified in service. In a small number of cases the valve has failed and released unexpectedly. This has the potential to cause serious injury as the valves may be ejected at high speed. We have been further advised that, although these extinguishers were primarily used on land, a number have been supplied to the marine industry.

The affected extinguishers are 2kg and 5kg CO2 aluminium cylinders and were manufactured between 2006 and April 2011. The screw thread on the valve cannot be seen.

The following brands are affected: Continue reading »

Beware of the Tar, Baby

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Jun 262011

This tar could give you a nasty knock

Some road, somewhere, is missing a lump of tar. We know this because the chunk in question was found inside the forklift pockets of a container. At 1.2 kilos it was heavy enough to give someone a nasty whack, warns Marine Safety Forum, MSF.


Says MSF: During positioning of a container on a rig, a large lump of what appears to be road tar was seen within one of the forklift pockets of the container. The lump measured 30 x 15 x 5 cms and weighed 1.2 kgs.

“The container, which had forklift pockets on all four side, had been round tripped, taken up to the rig and back loaded and taken back up to the rig before the hazard was spotted, some two weeks after its original dispatch.

The investigation could not determine at what point the lump of tar entered the forklift pockets but it could not have been at the supplier nor the supply base, both of which have fully concreted yard surfaces. Therefore it is possible that it was present for some time prior to the container’s original dispatch. Continue reading »

MSF Issues New ERRV Inspection Checklist

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Feb 252011

Marine Safety Forum has published an updated checklist for inspections of emergency response and rescue vessels, ERRVs.  The Inspection is to ensure that the vessel is fit for purpose.
Normally this inspection should take around 1 hour.
Qualifications, Experience and Knowledge of Inspector are to be aligned with CMID definitions and experience in ERRV operations. Findings are to be reviewed with vessel Master on completion of inspection.

Download the checklist here

Near Miss Highlights Gas Bottle Moves

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Jan 192011

Gas bottles should be transported on gas racks when being transferred. If a gas rack is not available then consider moving the gas bottles one by one, says a safety flash from Marine Safety Forum.

Says an MSF safety alert: “The ship’s crew were loading stores using the ships crane, a pallet holding 6 gas bottles snagged on a deck fitting as it was being lowered onto the deck. The pallet tilted causing the bottles to slip from the securing bands and fall onto the deck from a height of approximately 1 metre.
•    The crew had not carried out a risk assessment for the operation.
•    The securing arrangements of the bottles on the pallet were not checked prior to lifting, as
the banding straps had worked loose during transportation.
•    There were 6 bottles on the wooden pallet, 4 Acetylene and 2 Oxygen.

This incident has highlighted a need for ship’s crew to be vigilant when performing common tasks, such as loading stores using the ships crane.

All lifting operations should be risk assessed.

All pallets should be checked to ensure goods on them are secure and cannot fall off.

If crews are in doubt then the lift should not be undertaken and the pallet rejected for loading.

Oxygen and Acetylene Gas bottles should where possible be transported in gas racks.

Best practice and the safest method for transportation and lifting onboard is by gas racks but if the bottles are delivered on pallets then consideration should be given to the lifting of the bottles
individually from the pallet onto the vessel.

When lifting gas bottles individually and no rack is available, the lifting strop should be attached so that the bottle cannot slip. Never lift a bottle using the transportation cap.

It is recommended that Gas Racks would be the preferred transportation method for gas bottles.